The Trumpeter Swan Society is pleased to announce three new Directors have joined the Board to lead the Society in its dynamic endeavors to assure the vitality and security of wild Trumpeter Swans. Carey Smith of Vancouver, Washington, Jeff Nelson of Bozeman, Montana, and Sara Street, from Victoria Harbour, Ontario, have joined the Board of Directors. We are very pleased to have these talented people on The Trumpeter Swan Society team!
Retired Coordinator of the Pacific Coast joint Venture
Carey, a native of Illinois, served as a pilot in the US Air Force following his graduation from the University of Montana with a degree in zoology. After his military tour, he returned to the University of Montana and completed a Masters Degree in Wildlife Biology. From 1978 to 1983, he was the Pacific Flyway Biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). These unique positions combine the skills of waterfowl biologist and airplane pilot for completing aerial surveys throughout North America as well as numerous other migratory bird program functions.
In 1983, Carey began a 5-year assignment as the Regional Refuge Biologist for FWS in Portland, Oregon. In that job, he initiated annual biological workshops for field staff of National Wildlife Refuges in that region and was responsible for evaluation and oversight of refuge biological programs in over 100 refuges in 7 western states. As the regional biological program developed, it became the Division of Biological Support for which Carey was the Chief from 1988 through 1990.
In 1990, Carey became the Coordinator of the Pacific Coast Joint Venture (PCJV) of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. He coordinated wetland and migratory bird conservation projects from Alaska through coastal British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. He was responsible for fundraising and facilitation of numerous important initiatives. In 2004, Carey retired from FWS, but continued as Coordinator of the PCJV under contract until his retirement in 2012.
Deputy Director for WWF’s Northern Great Plains Program
Jeff joined the World Wildlife Fund in January 2012 as the Deputy Director for the its Northern Great Plains Program. Prior to joining WWF, Jeff was with Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for 30 years. He spent 12 of those years in Bismarck, North Dakota, where he expanded the Great Plains program from 20 people to 65, tripled fundraising revenues, and assembled and led a strong, innovative conservation team. Prior to that, he served in various executive positions at the National Headquarters of DU, including Group Manager and Chief Biologist for the organization. He and his staff were recipients of several awards, both internally and from partners.
In February 2008, Jeff was appointed CEO of Ducks Unlimited Canada where he led a staff of 420 until his retirement in the fall of 2011. During that period, Jeff restructured the executive team and led the development of long-term strategic and annual business planning. A comprehensive capital campaign by DUC was completed under his tenure, generating nearly $600M as part of a continental campaign together with Ducks Unlimited, Inc. that raised $1.7B in 6 years. While there, he served on the Boards of Ducks Unlimited Canada and Wildlife Habitat Canada.
A scientist by training, Jeff received an MS in Wildlife Ecology from Utah State University and did his field work at the Delta Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Station in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. He brought his fundraising experience, strategic planning skills, and continental network to WWF where he is now leading efforts toward on-the-ground conservation in the Northern Great Plains. Jeff leads the program’s conservation and planning efforts while supporting its managing director. He is focused on growing relationships with conservation groups, public agencies, and tribes, while forming new partnerships with rural communities, landowners, and sportsman organizations.
Executive Director, Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
Sara is currently the Executive Director of the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, located on 3,000 acres of wetlands, fen, and forest in Midland, Ontario (near Georgian Bay). She leads the organization in its mission to spark a commitment to conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife by creating exciting learning opportunities in a natural setting. Wye Marsh has played an integral role in Trumpeter Swan restoration since biologist Harry Lumsden began a provincial reintroduction program in the early 1980s to reestablish the Trumpeter Swan in its former habitat and range. Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre became a cooperator in the restoration of this magnificent species in 1989. Sara began work with Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre as a volunteer in 2008, and then became an employee in 2009, delivering educational awareness programs to participants of all ages as a professional outdoor educator. She took on stewardship responsibilities for the organization in 2011. From this work, Sara brings organizational, educational, outreach, stewardship, and networking skills to TTSS.
Sara knows Trumpeter Swans on a first-hand basis, having worked with the team of Bev and Ray Kingdon, Kyna Intini, and Julie Kee to capture and mark Trumpeter Swans in Ontario. She is a licensed bander and participates in the collection of Trumpeter Swan carcasses for necropsy in order to determine cause of death and monitor the health of the population and capture and treat any injured swans as necessary. Sara works to promote public awareness about the species throughout Ontario. She also brings an awareness of research and applied research to the Board, having worked previously on Golden-winged Warbler research and conservation and on reptiles at risk around Canada’s Georgian Bay.
Sara is steeped in a passion for wildlife, having been born and raised in Brechin, Ontario, on a farm with chickens and beef cattle. She holds a BS in Zoology from the University of Guelph in Ontario. Then, from Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario, she received a diploma in Ecosystem Management Technology, which focused on a number of things, including Benthic Biodiversity Network training, hands-on training in corporate sustainability, urban design and planning, and wildlife management.
Photo: Hal Everett, Washington